Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Google Street View Is Now Available In Senegal And Ghana
Google has announced the launch of the Street View feature, which offers 360° panoramic views of various locations from street level on Google Maps, in Senegal and Ghana, and in more locations in Uganda, where it was previously only available in Kampala and Entebbe, bringing the total number of countries where the service is available to 81. “We're excited that what began with a few South African cities in 2009, has now expanded to many other cities in seven countries across the continent. From Cape Town to Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and now Ghana, Uganda and Senegal, we're glad that more people from around the world can get a glimpse of this beautiful continent.” said Dirk Friedrich, Google Street View program manager
Uber's Mapping Project Has Kicked Off In Johannesburg
Uber's mapping project has moved to Johannesburg, South Africa (after Cape Town). The company has sais that the "street imagery captured by our mapping cameras will help us improve core elements of the Uber experience, like ideal pick-up and drop-off points and the best routes for riders and drivers." Added to this, to clarify any privacy concerns they added that they will not be collecting the imagery to post it online or otherwise make it available to the public. When requesting an Uber fitted with the mapping gear, Uber also notifies riders that it doesn't take images closer to pick-up and drop-off areas as to ensure their privacy. South Africa is one of five countries in which Uber is is said to be collecting mapping data and imagery to improve their service. The other four countries are Australia, Canada, Singapore and Mexico.
Boutique Kenyan Data Collection Company Bamba Group Has Raised $1.1 Million In Seed Round
Credit: Bamba Group
Boutique data collection agency Bamba Group, which specializes in gathering consumer insights from emerging markets, has announced that it raised US$1.1 million in its first seed investment round, potentially making it one of the largest and most successful seed rounds completed by an East African startup. The investor base spans Silicon Valley, New York, Washington DC, Austin, London and Kenya. The investors include Techstars LLC, Star Powers Partners II LLC, comprising of The Foundry Group, Right Side Capital, Draper Associates, Landscape Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, Winshall Walt and Iron Gate Capital, Perivoli Innovations Trust, and a number of individual investors, including Edward J Mathias of the Carlyle Group, and Brett Hurt of data.world. Other investors include Darshan Chandaria, CEO and director of the Chandaria Industries Group, who invested US$250,000 to be used to expand Bamba’s operations throughout Africa, and Rishi Varma, founder & CEO of AlphaDetail.
Safaricom's $1 Million Spark Fund Has Invested In Agricultural Lending And Analytics Startup FarmDrive
FarmDrive a data analytics startup that connects small-scale farmers to financial services, has become the latest investment for Safaricom’s Spark Venture Fund. The service allows farmers to track their revenues and expenses, and as well as apply for loans through a mobile app. FarmDrive was co-founded in 2014 by Rita Kimani and Peris Bosire, both Computer Science graduates from The University of Nairobi, and was inspired by the co-founders’ experiences growing up in smallholder farming communities. So far, 3,000 farmers have registered with FarmDrive and over KES 13 million (US$130,000) in loans disbursed. The investment from Spark Fund will be used to further develop and promote FarmDrive's credit scoring technology in order to attract more users to the app. The details and terms of the deal were not reported.
Highlights from the Annual Tech Round-Up 2017's "Connecting One Billion Afrikans To The Internet" panel discussion. The panel was moderated by Eric Mugendi and featured Liz Orembo (KICTANet/ICANN), Martin Mumo (Jumia Kenya) and Nanjira Sambuli (The Web Foundation).